There’s almost nothing better than firing up the BBQ on a beautiful summer day, but in the last few years, this classic summer pastime has received a ton of scrutiny when it comes to our health. While BBQ’ing seems like a healthy method of cooking, the level of heat that it requires has been linked to the creation of cancer causing compounds known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs).
Grilling, broiling and frying meat at high temperatures creates HCAs that are not present in uncooked meat. They’re formed when amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and creatine (a natural compound found in muscle meats) react at high temperatures.
All that said, there are small adjustments you can make to help your BBQ plans meet your wellness goals this summer:
– Keep meat portions small to cut down on grilling time.
– For meats that require longer cooking times, partially cook in the microwave, drain away the juices, and then finish on the barbecue. Microwaving meat for two minutes prior to grilling can result in a significant reduction in HCAs.
– Ingredients like vinegar, citrus juice, vegetable oil, and spices may prevent carcinogen formation, so try marinating meat before it hits the grill to reduce the formation of HCAs.
– Cook at a lower temperature. Turn the gas down or wait for the charcoal to become low-burning embers.
To learn more about how cooking methods may impact your health, send us an e-mail or give us a call.